Corlett, William 1938–2005

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Corlett, William 1938–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 8, 1938, in Saltburn, Yorkshire, England; died August 16, 2005, in Sarlat, France. Author. Corlett was an actor and playwright who became best known for his young-adult books, ranging from fantasy to nonfiction and often addressing themes on homosexuality. Attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the mid-1950s, Corlett resolved to become a stage actor. He spent the late 1950s and much of the 1960s performing in plays across England and began writing his own plays as well. Among his early plays are Another Round (1963), Flight of a Lone Sparrow (1965), Tinker's Curse (1969), and The Deliverance of Fanny Blaydon (1971). As television gained an audience, he also wrote for this medium, penning movies and scripts for adult and children's television series. His work for television earned him three New York International Film and Television Festival gold awards, and he won two Writer's Guild awards for his contributions to the children's television series The Paper Lads in 1977. By the mid-1970s, however, Corlett was gaining even more attention as a novelist. A homosexual himself, his trilogy of young-adult novels, including The Gate of Eden (1974), The Land Beyond (1975), and Return to the Gate (1975), features a homosexual protagonist, a daring move when such topics were still not generally accepted. He later won fans with his fantasy trilogy, "The Magician's House" (1990–92), which he also adapted for television. The television versions, broadcast in 1999 and 2000, earned him Writers' Guild awards and nominations for both Emmy and British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards. Corlett, who also produced a number of religious nonfiction titles over the years, such as The Question of Religion (1978) and The Buddha Way (1979), again addressed the theme of homosexuality in his book Now and Then (1995) and the more lighthearted comedy Two Gentlemen Sharing (1997). His final work, Kitty (2004), is a bittersweet fantasy about a pair of dogs seeking a final resting place.



Guardian (London, England), August 24, 2005, p. 23.

Independent (London, England), August 23, 2005, p. 31.